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Episode Transcript

(Tommy)>> You're watching Powernation.

(Tommy)>> Today on Detroit Muscle we show you how to pull off professional level detailing and refurbish your ride, taking it from dirty to perfect! [ Music ] [ engines revving ] [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> You're pride and joy can come in many shapes and sizes. Ole Fat Stack has got a sweet spot in my soul, and I have to tell you, I enjoy everyday how this thing's getting closer and closer to being completed. Now for a lot of folks the car that means the most to them would have to be their daily commuter.

(Joel)>> No matter your four wheel treasure, keeping it nice and clean on the inside and outside can sometimes be a hassle. And I get it, we've all been there. You keep putting it off and putting it off until finally it gets so nasty you've got to face the music, but with the right products and supplies, maybe a little sweat from your brow, maintaining your shine may not be as difficult as you think. Your daily driver is constantly under attack from dirt and debris. All that build up isn't just gonna affect its looks. It can have a real impact on the overall condition of your ride. The abrasive nature of dirt particles coupled with corrosive elements like spilled liquids can lead to long term damage inside and out.

(Tommy)>> We got our Charger out here on the concrete pad for a day at the spa. We're gonna show you guys how to properly clean and detail your ride. I know that may sound a little bit primitive but you'd be amazed at the amount of people that do it incorrectly. The first thing that you want to do is start with your dirtiest area first, like the engine bay.

(Joel)>> One bad habit many of us are guilty of is washing our car with dish soap. It works but probably a little too well. Most of these cleaners have chemical additives, such as phosphate, to help remove dirt, grease, and other stains. However when you take this approach you are also cleaning off all the good stuff, including any waxes or protectants. Therefore, you could be opening the door to harmful sun rays, water spots, and corrosion that can damage the paint on your surface. Which is why you should use specially formulated products like this Sonax engine cleaner to only remove the bad stuff and retain everything that is good. You just want to cover every inch and let it soak in to start eroding all the grease and gunk that accumulates under your hood from daily driving. If you have a pressure washer don't be afraid to spray away to make sure you rinse everything off. You can use a garden hose but you may have to do multiple passes to get that deep clean. Next we're going to hit it with some plastic detailer so when you pop this hood again everything shines bright like a diamond. After the engine bay the next dirtiest area is typically wheels and tires. The plan of attack here is to hit the dry tires and wheel well with a multi-star universal cleaner, and then dig in with a bristle brush to agitate the crud off your car. We'll Rob I've pretty much got this wheel well all cleaned out. I'm gonna tag you in and let you tackle these tires and wheels.

(Rob)>> What we're gonna do now is take our tire cleaner and we're just gonna literally spray it on the tires and just get them ready to be able to put some dressing on and make them looking brand new again. From there we're just gonna go to the wheels, and this is a non-acid wheel cleaner. Literally everything that you can see, it's color changing as it attaches to the brake dust, the road grime, it's gonna start to break it down and it's actually gonna turn a deep purple, and it's really an indicator as far as the product. When it stops turning any darker basically it's saying I'm done, spray me off. From there we'll just do this again. If I can borrow your scrub brush I'll do a quick pass here on the tires, and then we'll be ready to spray everything down and get it ready to finish up.

(Joel)>> The idea behind this process is to eliminate some of the grunt work to where the product's doing the work for you.

(Rob)>> That's the beauty of Sonax is they truly do the work for you. As you can see, it's as simple as spray it on, let it work, and rinse it off.

(Joel)>> You can see the muck melt away as the cleaner makes short work of those street shoes. Once the wheel well is clear we hit it with the plastic detailer to help it hang on to that shine. Now the wheel does require a little more attention than just a spritz and spray. You can use a rag or a glove to really get into the nooks and crannies to plumb out all the brake dust that builds up from stop and go driving. Well we got the tires and wheels all rinsed off. So we're gonna move on to the next part, which is spraying off the entire car with some water. And then we're gonna move on to my personal favorite part, foam canon. [ Music ] If you don't have a foam attachment you can use the two bucket method. The key to the two bucket method is having one that holds clean water and another for dirty. This separation prevents you from repeatedly dunking your rag in dirty water that is swimming around with the stuff you just scrubbed off your car. Something to watch out for when you're spraying foam is your dry time. Don't let the foam sit for too long, especially if it's a hot day like it is today. If that foam dries before you rinse you may have to do this all over again. We're doing my truck next, right?

(Rob)>> You're next. [ pressure washer hissing ]

(Joel)>> Now Cole you've been talking these towels up all day. So what's so great about them?

(Cole)>> We like to say that they're really hard to get excited about. I mean it's a drying towel for Pete sake, but all you have to do is drag it along the good and it instantly dries the vehicle.

(Joel)>> That is one of those little things that if you can eliminate some of the headache and save you some more time on your Saturday why not.

(Cole)>> You could probably do this whole car with one towel, for sure two.

(Joel)>> I'll race you. I'll do this side, you do that side, go! Coming up, we break out the power tools and hit you with some detailing 101.

(Tommy)>> After giving our Charger that quick and easy shampoo it's made a dramatic improvement, and you're probably thinking that we're done with it looking so nice. However if you get up and close and personal with it you'll see we've still got some more work to do.

(Joel)>> And it is practically a brand new car, and it hasn't been battered and abused, but it has been neglected. The condition that it's in is probably what you're gonna find on a lot of people's vehicles in their driveway.

(Tommy)>> Here's a little detailing 101. Dirt and debris come in contact with your vehicle's surface no matter if you're driving it or it's just sitting indoors. If you have an unprotected surface those particles can become embedded over time and cause some serious issues. Using a clay pad helps remove those contaminants by grabbing onto them and pulling them off the vehicle. What you're looking for before you apply any protective coatings is a clean and smooth surface. This will help maximize shine and paint life. What's great about all this, it's repairable.

(Joel)>> And it's not gonna take a lot of time or effort to get some amazing final results.

(Tommy)>> We're gonna start with a clay bad to grind off that base layer of contaminants that I was talking about. You can do this by hand, but if you have a polisher you can get this whole vehicle done way faster. Here were just spraying on some glass cleaner and letting the clay pad do the work. This will also help get rid of some of those water spots we had left over from our spray and rinse. The clay pad also works great on your windows and glass. They can be just as dirty as your paint since they're all exposed to the same contaminants. [ Music ]

(Joel)>> Well Rob I will say the surface is definitely smoother to the touch but looks like we've got a little bit more work to do on those water stains.

(Rob)>> I just did a hard water remover and it didn't take it out as much as I was hoping to. I think what we're gonna do is just compound a couple passes and take off a very, very thin layer and I think that'll get it to where we want it.

(Joel)>> That compound's gonna give us a nice, smooth foundation, get rid of some of these hard water stains, get rid of some of those swirl marks. At this point I think people will make the mistake of putting on a ceramic coating or a wax right now, but all you're doing is sealing in those imperfections.

(Rob)>> You'll be upset with yourself after the fact if you did that. Let's do it the right way. Let's get the compound, just a couple of quick passes, and get this thing shining like it should be.

(Joel)>> Let's get it done. I've got to take this to a car show this weekend. [ Music ] [ polishing humming ] [ Music ]

(Joel)>> It does look a lot better doesn't it? I think I need to do one more pass on mine. Yours looks pretty good.

(Rob)>> I'm happy with mine.

(Joel)>> For our second pass we're busting out the green medium polishing pads. Dabbing out your compound over four corners of your pad makes it easier to evenly apply it to the vehicle. If you don't have a polisher be sure to scrub in a circular motion as you wipe down your ride. Depending on which pad you use will determine how fine of a finish you end up with. This also works on the vinyl to help restore its original luster. [ polisher humming ]

(Joel)>> It's a lot more slippery now!

(Rob)>> Lot easier to take off too.

(Joel)>> Once you're done with your pad grab a clean microfiber and wipe down the surface to get a nice, streak free finish. [ Music ]

(Rob)>> I don't know what show you're going to this weekend but I don't know how they're not gonna give you the trophy.

(Joel)>> This car went from gray to GRAY! [ Music ] [ polisher humming ]

(Cole)>> That side's done. If you ain't finish first you're last. [ polisher humming ] [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> That stripe looks amazingly better, and it didn't take much work either.

(Cole)>> We got that like new finish in two really easy steps. We did some very light compounding just to get off that little extra contaminants that might still be on there, and then we did a second step just to bring back that gloss in the matte finish.

(Tommy)>> Cause the stripes oxidize just like paint does. That looks way better.

(Cole)>> How about them apples?

(Tommy)>> Up next, we flash back to one heck of a Mopar.

(Joel)>> Our modern Mopar is really starting to shine up and look like a million bucks. You know the Dodge Charger has always kinda been an icon in the muscle car market for many generations. When Dodge announced in 2005 that they were bringing the Charger back, like many of you, I was pretty excited even though it was a four door. However it's hard to argue with success because since then Dodge has sold over 1.6 million of these things. It's not always about the numbers though, and many people would argue that the '68 through '70 model Chargers are the most popular and sought after considering their rise to stardom on the silver screen. The 1970 Dodge Charger R/T is the last of the most coveted body styles. Between all the performance options and crazy color combos it's no wonder why it's still so beloved to this day. If you were to look up bad to the bone in the dictionary you'll see a picture of a black 1970 Dodge Charger with a 440 six-pack rumbling beneath the hood. There's a reason you see the hero or cool guy in the movies and on t-v driving one of these. They're the epitome of cool.

(Tommy)>> With its aggressive stance and slick design, some people consider the '70 Charger R/T unrivaled and undisputed king of the road when you're talking Detroit Muscle.

(Joel)>> This particular pavement pounder went on quite a journey to become the metal masterpiece you see here. The frame off restoration took close to five years to complete. She was tripped down to the bone and rebuilt from the ground up with all new sheet metal. They also transplanted a 440 six-pack from a junkyard SuperBee under the hood.

(Tommy)>> '70 was the first time the six-pack was offered. You could only order it on the R/T, and just 684 got them. The three deuces helped churn out 390 horse, and it made more low end torque than a Hemi.

(Joel)>> The Hurst pistol grip shifter made you feel one with the engine as you put the pedal to the metal powering through the gears. R/T's were made for the road or track. So you got extra heavy duty suspension rolling on F-70 by 14 wide tread tires. And who could forget that iconic race style gas cap?

(Tommy)>> Built as a fastback on the Coronet platform, it was part street machine and part soccer mom. It really didn't move the needle until '68 when the second gen was unveiled. Sleeker body lines and a more aggressive front end define its signature look.

(Joel)>> The '70 Charger was the last of the second gens, and only underwent a few minor changes. Dodge kept the legendary hidden headlights and included a new wrap around chrome bumper. They also added simulated side scoops, and the rear taillights stretched the full width of the panel. This Charger was ordered by a soldier stationed overseas. So it has an export label on the door jam and under the hood even though it never left the states.

(Joel)>> The soldier who ordered this ride was only interested in one thing, speed. So the only options he got were the six-pack, a set of race gauges, and an 8-track. He did make one unique request by asking for that rare burnt orange interior.

(Tommy)>> So to pay homage to that road warrior the owner has restored it to the soldier's original specifications. It's the pinnacle of American automotive excellence.

(Joel)>> Coming up, this is gonna suck.

(Joel)>> Those of you with kids know the horror show that your back seat can become. Crayons, chips, cookies, candy, all become a potpourri pain that you have to exercise when cleaning your car. You may think you have to see a professional detailer but fear not friends. There is another way. Step one is to remove all the debris you can. If you have a shop vac it's ideal for sucking up all the shrapnel that spreads across your seats. When you get into the tougher stains like mustard, chocolate, or something even worse you need a special to triumph in those trenches.

(Cole)>> So some vehicles have this funky material on here, kinda like a fake suede. We actually call that Alcantara. Sonax specifically has a cleaner for Alcantara called Alcantara Upholstery Cleaner. It's a really easy material to clean. The process is easy. Alcantara's really to mess up, but the first step is to very lightly saturate it with water. That just helps disperse the cleaner so one spot's not cleaner than the others. You're gonna apply that to your light brush, and you're just gonna spread and agitate to get out some of those deeper stains that we couldn't remove with the vacuum. What you're gonna do is just agitate it, agitate it. In some heavy spots you can agitate a little bit harder. Again the material is very firm. It's hard to mess up. Agitating, and then you're gonna take a microfiber. Just brush it dry. [ Music ] When you're done you're gonna take that same brush and you want to get those bristles of the fibers to stand back up. You're just gonna stand up those fibers. [ Music ]

(Joel)>> Our Mopar is starting to shape up, but what if you can't start it at all? It could be your battery, alternator, or starter. To show you how to pinpoint and address the issue we're gonna use these Duralast products we got from the AutoZone Pro website. All three of these components have indicators that they may be on their way to failure, but if you pay close attention you might be able to catch it just in time just so you're not left stranded on the side of the road. Let's say you go to turn your ignition switch and nothing. Probably a dead battery, right, or is it? Maybe your starter solenoid isn't engaging all the way, or maybe your alternator wasn't charging on your way home from work? Let's talk through it. One of the first signs that an alternator is on its last leg is quite simply the sounds coming out of it. Now it should be relatively quiet while it's spinning, but if you hear any grinding or growling noises it could have a bad bearing and it's due for a swap. With an alternator you can also have what is known as overcharging and undercharging. Now if you feel like you've been blowing a lot of fuses lately, or burning up headlights, or notice any excessive swelling in your battery those are the first symptoms of overcharging. However if the lights on the inside and the outside of your vehicle are flickering in correlation with the r-p-m that you're running classic undercharge. To test an alternator all you're gonna have to do is hook up a multimeter while the engine is running and what you're looking for is a number between 12 and 14 volts with no fluctuations. Now to test your battery may require a couple of specialized tools, and if you have one that's been sitting around a while it might be a good idea to go ahead and charge it up just to ensure you're getting an accurate reading. If you put a test light or a meter on the terminals of the battery it should light up or give you an indication of 12 volts. That does mean that there is a charge but not necessarily enough juice to get you going again. To diagnose the starter there's actually a way you can bench test one of these. I do apologize for this primitive setup but it is just for demonstration purposes. [ Music ] Basically I just have a ground wire hooked to the negative terminal on the battery on the bench and this is usually a hot wire connection that goes to a pigtail. I'm just gonna run this straight to the positive side of the battery. This thing should kick over. [ metal clicking ]

(Joel)>> Yep, looks good, which brand new starter not surprising.

(Tommy)>> When we rolled our Charger in here it definitely had signs showing it had been neglected. That gray paint helped to hide some imperfections caused by exposure to lots of dirt and debris from daily driving.

(Joel)>> So we hit our Mopar with some Sonax products and gave it a foam bath to disperse surface level sediments, but that was just one of many steps we took towards achieving that showroom shine. We still had a layer or two of troublesome trash to take out.

(Tommy)>> Using that clay pad with some polishing tools has transformed our car close to its original form.

(Joel)>> The wheels and tires are fresh and clean with an interior to match. By the way I've been meaning to ask you guys. What exactly does an Alcantara look like?

(Tommy)>> You hunt them a lot like snipe. Just need a bigger bag.
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